SC Auto Week encourages connection, collaboration and innovation

SC Auto Week logoConnect / Collaborate / Innovate was the theme for the 5th Annual SC Automotive Summit.  In addition to the Summit, events were held across the state Feb. 21-27 for SC Auto Week 2016 . Here are some highlights:


Approximately 40 industry professionals received a first-hand tour of the expansion that is currently underway at Mercedes-Benz Vans in Ladson, SC. The company is turning the plant into a turn-key production facility that will distribute Mercedes-Benz vans to markets across the globe.

A SC Manufacturers’ Showcase was held in Greenville Feb. 23 and 24, which put students and industry professionals in front of approximately 30 automotive manufacturers. Students were able to learn more about what each company makes and the type of skills required to work there, while industry professionals were able to make new professional connections in their pursuit of business growth.

SC Auto Week also marked the soft launch of SC Future Makers, an exciting workforce development program powered by STEM Premier. The reception by high school and college students across the state, as well as industry professionals, was encouraging as the program undergoes fine tuning for its official launch by Governor Nikki Haley in the coming weeks.


SC Governor Nikki Haley shared her vision for how government and business can work collaboratively to create America’s most dynamic and successful automotive manufacturing environment. She spoke to a packed house at the 5th Annual SC Automotive Summit on Thursday, Feb. 25.

In its second year, The Automotive B2B Supplier Matchmaker held and co-hosted by the SC Auto Council and SC Dept. of Commerce was another tremendous success! Representatives from nearly 80 Tier 2 and 3 suppliers received valuable one-on-one face time with approximately two dozen automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. The collaborations and connections generated from this organized networking event should parlay into new growth opportunities for a number of South Carolina automotive companies.

The SC Automotive Council, CU-ICAR and the International Transportation Innovation Center each had a representative to discuss automotive innovations during a collaborative program hosted by SCBIZ News during the week. “The car will be a rolling iPhone where 60% to 70% of the value of the car in time will be in its software, not so much in the hardware,” said CU-ICAR Executive Director Fred Cartwright.


Top executives of the Palmetto State’s largest automotive OEMs engaged in an enlightening Q&A with SC Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt on the last day of the SC Automotive Summit. Katarina Fjording of Volvo CARS USA; Rich Morris of BMW Manufacturing; and Brian Newsome of Honda of SC Manufacturing each shared their most important supply chain needs. Delivering innovative solutions to current supply chain challenges is chief among them.

Jay Rogers brought his usual brand of “surprise and delight” to attendees of the 5th Annual SC Automotive Summit. The co-founder and CEO of the world’s first 3D printed car company, Local Motors, delivered the Summit’s keynote speech, focusing on the critical need for more disruptive technologies like 3D printing in order to stay one step ahead of the “Clockwork Dilemma” underway within the automotive industry. It was a perfect complement to KPMG’s Gary Silberg’s white paper presentation earlier that morning addressing the complexities of the Clockwork Dilemma and its demands for innovative solutions.

About SC Auto Week

SC Auto Week, February 21-27, 2016, is a public celebration of South Carolina’s automotive industry, spotlighting cutting edge technology, the significant economic impact of the industry, and the robust career opportunities in automotive manufacturing.  For more information, visit

About SC Auto Council

The South Carolina Automotive Council (SCAC) is a division of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA). As the leading organization dedicated to enhancing the state’s automotive manufacturing sector’s position, the SCMA and SCAC foster collaboration, promote innovation, and maintain a business environment conducive to growth and success in a global marketplace.  For more information, visit